Probably the single most powerful force plunging the Protestant church into apostasy is psychotherapy. With its pretense of science, aura of state licensing, and seductive dichotomy of body, spirit, and mind as equal parts in holistic health care; the pursuit of mental health, with its manufactured aliments and theoretical cures, has eclipsed the quest for spiritual growth and discernment.
For an example of how ludicrous these psychotherapy theories have become, and how brazen their attacks on the Christian faith, consider Reframe Your Life: Transforming Your Pain into Purpose, by Stephen Arterburn. The book description alone sounds an alarm:
Everyone needs a way to break free from the pain of their past. By explaining and illuminating a psychological technique known as ‘reframing,’ bestselling author Stephen Arterburn puts readers on the path to freedom from old wounds….
Reframe Your Life instructs readers on how to view hurtful events through a more informed frame of reference, allowing them to look at dark moments from a broader perspective than the events themselves and empowering them to step into a brighter future.1
But is this architectural exercise of creating a museum in the imagination where exhibits are constructed of past sins in order to dress them up in decorative framing “the path to freedom from old wounds,” or a menagerie created by psychotherapy which locks the wayward into a curatorial obligation of servitude to the past? Moreover, the pertinent question here is, should a Christian obtain this book to seek help?
Steve Arterburn is the founder of New Life Ministries, a counseling and treatment ministry, and the host of the nationally syndicated radio show “New Life Live.” Although Arterburn describes his ministry as “faith-based” on his website, a call to his counseling network revealed that the great majority of the counselors used by New Life are state licensed psychologists.
It should also be noted that the term faith-based does not mean exclusively Christian, or based on Christian doctrines. In fact, the most that Publishers Weekly could say in their review regarding any biblical principals to be found in Reframe Your Life was that “a gentle faith perspective is woven through the book, with a special section on Reframing Your God to help readers get their spiritual lives in harmony.”2
The sad truth is that for the person without God this psychobabble is the best the world has to offer: reinventing the past and flirtations with a customizable God concept. More tragically, it functions much like an inoculation to the real thing. For the Christian, this is psychoheresy: the mingling of psychological theories with biblical principals to compromise or contradict biblical Christianity. Indeed, a treatment in such a work devoted to reframing your God raises the question as to whether or not blasphemy is committed. Christians should not consult this work; much less support it by purchasing it.
1. New Life Ministries, product description of Reframe Your Life: Transforming Your Pain into Purpose, By Stephen Arterburn (July 2007).
2. Publishers Weekly, review of Reframe Your Life: Transforming Your Pain into Purpose, By Stephen Arterburn (July 2007).